The conversation between Wim Wenders and Melinda Camber Porter (1953-2008) took place on location in December 1983, while Mr. Wenders was shooting his first American film, Paris Texas. With this publication, we have an opportunity to listen to Wim Wenders discuss his approach to filmmaking, in conversation with Melinda Camber Porter, during the development and filmmaking process of Paris Texas. America was a place of European immigrants, German immigrants, and a vast land stretching to California. Men and women were becoming disillusioned and seeking that something just out of reach.
Wenders on what men expect of women:
Melinda Camber Porter asked Wim Wenders: “When you say men have certain expectations of women, what exactly do you mean? Wim Wenders explains, “We still have to find out what we mean by that, because ‘the character’ hasn’t really understood that yet [in shooting the film, Paris Texas]. The character is getting ready to confront the issue. I do not work so a film is laid out and people can spell it out. I work much more on intuition … Sometimes film making is very much based on very subconscious choices or intuitions.”
Wenders on his movies as self discovery:
The interview is divided into three parts, each covering a variety of topics such as thte movie making process, fluidity and discovery, the nuances of implementing Wenders' personal vision, the difference bewteen theater and filmm, and the contrast between Europe and America as perceived by Wenders. Photographs of hte empty landscape, scenes from the film, and photographs of Melinda taken by Wim are all included. Though it focuses on just one film, this title provides insights into the foundational aspects of his creativity, and the reader come away with an increased understaning of all his works.
Wenders on filmmaking as intuition:
"When I think of a movie, I don't initially think much of actors. I think I work much more from a certain flow of images or a certain connection of ideas and images. And then the actors come in and they're always a big disturbance in this beautiful unity of ideas that existed before. And usually it turns out that they just disturb this order enough to make it interesting. So, usually in the course of a movie I get very interested in the actors. Usually they help me to forget the ideas that I had before. And if they don't, something is wrong. If I find myself sticking to preconceived ideas, then it's because the actors just didn't interest me enough."
Wenders on how the Europeans installed abuses in America:
Melinda Camber Porter was collaborating with Wim Wenders on a documentary feature about his body of work, Wim Wenders - Visions on Film, when she passed away. The film remains imcomplete.
"This is an exceptional book on Wim Wenders. Frankly, I was not prepared for this extraordinary volume. The depth of Melinda Camber Porter's interview with Wim Wenders is breathtakingly apparent. Speaking from experience, I am in the position to truly appreciate work of this nature and Melinda Camber Porter's remarkable achievement."
- Michael Edelson, Professor Emeritus, Film and Photography, Stony Brook University